ARNOLD, Mo. — Reps. Paul Wieland and Jill Schupp will spend at least another four years working in Jefferson City after defeating their challengers, Reps. Jeff Roorda and Jay Ashcroft, in a fight for two senate seats in tossup districts.
Wieland was part of a wave of Republican challengers notching victories in against conservative Democrats across Jefferson County as the once-dependable moderate Democratic region continues to trend toward Republicans.
Of the House seats in Jefferson County, Republicans will represent six after tonight’s votes are counted, representing a massive shift in political affiliation for the area.
Wieland was the beneficiary of a good year for Republicans across Missouri and the nation, big infusions of cash from senate Republicans, and a campaign that simply didn’t make many mistakes. Roorda, a pro-life and pro-gun Democrat, fought an uphill battle in an area where President Barack Obama has abysmal approval ratings.
Roorda’s work ethic and ferocious competitive streak kept the race from ever becoming a clear blowout leading up to Election Day, and the final margin of about 4,000 votes is evident enough that Jefferson County may not be forever lost to Democrats.
“Tonight was nothing except the voters expressing frustration with the White House,” Roorda said. “My campaign staff worked so hard and did everything that could be done, I couldn’t have asked for more from them.”
In St. Louis County, Rep. Jill Schupp won a narrow victory against challenger Jay Ashcroft. Many thought Schupp would be in danger as a potential causality of a Republican wave and an opponent of a well-funded Republican with name recognition.
The campaign became increasingly nasty when, in the final weeks, both camps sparred over Schupps voting record related to sex offenders.
Ashcroft’s campaign was a surprise to many when he announced last spring with little warning, but the well-staffed team forced a close election in a region Democrats have typically considered safely theirs.